Rabbit hunting with a 12ga.


October 3, 2009, 12:44 PM
Probably a dumb question but, I'm new to hunting and fairly, new to shotguns. I've done a lot of rifle target shooting just for fun over the years but, I'm starting to get up in years with health going down and hunting is just something I've wanted to do for years and was wondering if the 12ga. would be too big for rabbit hunting I really like 12 gauges and wound up with two of them. Thanks for any help! :)

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October 3, 2009, 01:00 PM
No. 12 ga's are not too big for rabbit. Pray, and your health will get better.

October 3, 2009, 02:08 PM
Yeah 12ga kills rabbits dead. If you want to eat them I recommend shooting them in the head with a rifle, but if not then a 12ga is the way to go. I like a stiff load of #6 shot myself.

October 3, 2009, 02:35 PM
Like he said it depends on if your going to eat them. I grew up hunting rabbits with a .22 we ate them and sold their fur so a shotgun was too much for our purposes. I hope your health gets better.

Bud Tugly
October 3, 2009, 02:56 PM
A 12 would work if that's what you've got, but IMO I'd stick to no more than 1 oz loads and 7/8 might be even better. Rabbits are very easy to kill, and if you make a body shot with a 1 1/4 oz load at 15 yards there won't be much left over for eating.

Leaky Waders
October 3, 2009, 04:33 PM
Yeah, I'd go with a modified or improved cylinder with #4 or #6 shot.

Rabbits, if they aren't chased by a dog...will usually run like a 30 yard circle and then stop behind a clump of grass or something. You can wack them then or chase them with the gun as the sprint about.

They die easy and taste good. If you shoot them in the summer months they may have wolves in their skin...fly larva. Yeah gross right. Poor bunnies.

October 3, 2009, 07:58 PM
Thanks for all the good tips as I know nothing about hunting I do, have a couple .22s I might try one of them also. my .223 is too heavy to pack around and I don't think I need it or my 30-06 for rabbits. :D Thanks again. :)

October 3, 2009, 11:50 PM
The secret isn't really the gun, it's the type of ammo you use.

Personally, I hunt squirrel and rabbit with my 12 gauge using "low-brass" loads, meaning the amount of punch behind the BBs and the weight of them are significantly less.

In fact, one time I blasted a grey squirrel from less than two yards away. "YOU must have blown it to pieces!" everyone shrieks, yet you couldn't even tell I hit it. The small BBs went right through it.

..it's about the ammo.. Usually Wal Mart has pictures of the animals generally hunted by the round on the box so it's easy. Get the ones with the squirrel or rabbit on them.

October 3, 2009, 11:54 PM
Shotguns shoot pellets. It doesn't matter if a pellet comes from a 12, a 20 or a 28. A #6 pellet is a #6 pellet. Bigger bores just mean more pellets in the pattern, so you can choke a bit more open and make the shot easier.

Do not use small birdshot like #8 on rabbits. I've done it, and it was inhumane. I would not do it again, as I think it's a breach of hunting ethics. I used a 12 Gauge, but that made no difference.

#6 shot should work, though.

October 8, 2009, 06:00 PM
for 12 gauge i have shot lots of rabbits. they are good sport. i use 5 or 6 shot with 1 oz or 1 1/16 loads. just standard game loads. at 30 odd yards they aren't too badly peppered. you will get plenty of good eating from them.


October 8, 2009, 07:55 PM
I have shot lots of rabbits with the 12, the 20, and the .410 and they don't taste any different. You can eat 'em, just don't bite down too hard and if you feel a pellet, spit it out. :D Heck, I was eatin' a goose the other day, shot with a 10 gauge. It had a steel T shot in it, danged big, .20" diameter, damned near buckshot. It was shiny and pretty. :D

October 9, 2009, 07:09 AM
Strongly agree with armed bear, do not use smaller than 6 shot.

Sav .250
October 9, 2009, 07:18 AM
12 ga will do the trick.

October 9, 2009, 09:22 AM
Hmmm, I've shot plenty of cottontails with #7 1/2 and #8 shot and it does the job just fine. #6 hits harder for sure and is better at longer distances. But within range birdshot kills cottontails. Jackrabbits on the other hand are much bigger, and #6 or smaller is a better choice. The best rabbit load I've used was a high base load with #6 shot. It hit hard and made short work of many rabbits.

October 9, 2009, 10:36 AM
Rock out those .22 for rabbits P5200. It is more fun in my opinion and does less damage to the meat.

October 9, 2009, 11:23 AM

Marlin 45 carbine
October 9, 2009, 11:28 AM
depends. I've taken them with a .22 several times caught them just hopping around. generally if I'm going after rabbits I'll take my 12 or sometimes my 20 ga with low brass #6.

Kurt S.
October 9, 2009, 01:23 PM
I've always used a 12 or 20 with low-brass #6 or #4, modified choke on rabbits. Just be a little careful with cleaning and preparation.

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